Cost of Glory

Alex Petkas

The most influential biographies ever written, admired by leaders, creators, soldiers, and thinkers for nearly 2,000 years: Plutarch’s Parallel lives. Essential listening for anyone striving after greatness. Alex Petkas, former professor of ancient philosophy and history, revives and dramatically retells these unforgettable stories for modern audiences. The subjects are statesmen, generals, orators, and founders; pious and profane, stoics and hedonists. The stakes bear on the future of Western civilization. The cost of glory is always great. Visit to find out more. read less

Our Editor's Take

The Cost of Glory podcast seeks to find the answer to one grandiose question. What does it take to achieve something that gets remembered by later generations? This is no small feat, and the people who achieve it are some of the most impressive figures in history. Alex Petkas, the podcast host, wants to explore what those people were like and what they valued.

In Cost of Glory, Petkas retells the biographies of the most famous Greeks and Romans. These are individuals like Pericles, the Athenian statesman. Or Cato the Stoic, who fought for the liberty of the Roman Republic. Of course, he can't skip over Romulus, who founded Rome, and Alexander the Great. These stories have inspired leaders, thinkers, and creators throughout history. Shakespeare, Napoleon, American founding fathers, great composers-they all admired these figures.

But the philosopher Plutarch also thought that biography could help anyone become sharper and wiser. It could teach people how to be more effective in life. That approach is what Petkas employs in his podcast.

For years, Petkas was a professor of ancient history and philosophy. But now he works in the business world. So he approaches these biographies as a tool for practical insights. He analyzes the stories and the people and sees what worked for them and what didn't.

On the way, the host shares other wisdom and insights from ancient philosophy. He reveals ancient life practices that he finds useful. But his main goal is for the listeners to hear and enjoy these stories of tragedy and triumph. They're some of the best stories ever written and lived. The Cost of Glory podcast has new episodes several times per month.

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